Mathematics as a subject is one of the subjects that performs poorly in the KCSE KNEC examinations. Consider the progress of mathematics in the table below since the year 2009 to 2013.
The fifth column with the mean score is a clear evidence that mathematics has been performing poorly in over a decade and the results are even getting poorer with the best mean ever achieved as 29.46; this trend is worrying especially for a country aspiring to be a first world in the year 2030. Industrialization comes with science courses like engineering and we can't mold good engineers and doctors who are not doing fine in mathematics.
My Science Fair students (Everlyne Tete and Linet Wangari) did a research on why most students are performing poorly in mathematics and the results were astonishing. Twenty four students were asked to give opinions on why they performed poorly in the previous mathematics examinations and gave the following feedback (each student was allowed to choose utmost three options)
From the above graph, we can deduce that most students don't pass in mathematics because they have the following factors:
When the respondents were asked on what would be done to improve their performance, they responded in the following way
This research could be used by teachers and other stakeholders in the mathematics departments to devise ways of assisting pupils to pursue this course with utter easiness. Scientific methods of learning should be applied if any meaningful gains are to be made.
Also read: General principles of Effective Teaching
Research Supervised and Compiled by Maurice Nyamoti A.
Maurice A. Nyamoti is a high school teacher and has a passion in assisting students improve grades